Last night, we were honoured to welcome award-winning publisher Serlina Boyd, founder and publishing director of Cocoa Girl magazine, to Cranleigh School. Serlina spoke to some of our Sixth Form students about being an entrepreneur and setting up a new magazine in the UK marketplace. Cocoa Girl magazine was set up in 2020 to fill a void when Serlina recognised there were no publications that specifically catered for her daughter or Black and brown girls like her, therefore Cocoa Girl is primarily concerned with representation and empowerment of Black girls and women.
Serlina was invited on behalf of the Business Studies department as part of our external speaker programme, but it was serendipitous to have such an influential and successful Black British female speaker during Black History Month where the theme is “Saluting Our Sisters” – a celebration of Black Female achievement and excellence. Serlina owns Cocoa Publishing, a Black-owned business which owns and licenses the brands Cocoa Girl, Cocoa Boy and Cocoa Kids and through the Cocoa Girl brand, she has recently collaborated with Disney, Nike, Pearson Education, and Young V & A.
Serlina gave sound advice about finding a problem to solve, protecting your intellectual property, how to leverage your brand, and fully monetise your ideas. Serlina was inspirational and it sounds like there are exciting times ahead for Serlina and her brands. Serlina’s talk was universally enjoyed by the audience and Sixth Form pupil Kyle said “I loved it, it was so educational and brilliant to see a woman of colour follow her passion and excel in an industry that is so dominated by people that don’t normally look like her.”